According to the annual Barnie Balloon Debate!
Held in the Foyle’s gallery in Christmas week in front of a packed house, singer Barb Jungr put the case for Souvenir Press’ Address Unknown by Kressman Taylor, beating economist Evan Davis advocating for Sellar and Yeatman’s 1066 and All That, architectural critic and writer Jonathon Glancey who proposed Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, and chief executive of Arts & Business, Colin Tweedy’s choice of Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation among others.
Made up entirely of letters, the New York Times Book Review declared Address Unknown “the most effective indictment of Nazism to appear in fiction.”
Published just prior to Kristallnacht, but set in the years between 1932-1934, Taylor developed the story of a friendship between two businessmen: a Jewish art dealer in San Francisco and his German business partner who had recently moved back to Germany.
Letter by letter, Address Unknown reveals the insidious rise of Nazism, (“I have never hated the individual Jew . . . I have loved you, not because of your race but in spite of it,”) as it permeates then destroys their friendship, leading to brilliant and breathtaking twist.
The Foyle’s audience voted it the Best Book in the World. Why not see if they were right?